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(Posts about Media Freedom and those who threaten it.)
Posted 10/18/07 (By Travis)
Plan Would Ease Limits on Media Owners
10/17/07 New York Times
The head of the Federal Communications Commission has circulated an ambitious plan to relax the decades-old media ownership rules, including repealing a rule that forbids a company to own both a newspaper and a television or radio station in the same city.
This would be great news for media freedom, diversity of opinion, and improving the quality and quantity of news. A good first step that would ideally end in the abolition of the FCC itself. :)
Currently, a company can own two television stations in the larger markets only if at least one is not among the four largest stations and if there are at least eight local stations. The rules also limit the number of radio stations that a company can own to no more than eight in each of the largest markets.
But deregulation in the media is difficult politically, because many Republican and Democratic lawmakers are concerned about news outlets in their districts being too tightly controlled by too few companies.
Incumbents worried about their jobs? Throw the bums out! :)
Posted 7/24/07 (By Travis)
The unfairness doctrine
7/24/07 LA Times Editorial
Excellent editorial by the LA Times.
Posted 6/16/07 (By Travis)
What Do We Do About Trent Lott?
This monologue is in reaction to Senator Lott saying, “Talk radio is running America. We have to deal with that problem.”, in response to conservative protests over the recent immigration bill, protests which I, incidentally, happen to think are misdirected. Readers may recall past stories, grouped together under 'media freedom', detailing how various leftist politicians threaten free speech in one way or another. Now it appears we have a Republican who may be doing the same thing! Rush offers a nice rebuttal:
Senator Lott is out there saying, "The problem with this is talk radio,
and it's a problem that's going to have be dealt with." Now, what does that mean? When
I hear a United States senator say that what I do for a living is a "problem" that the
government has to "deal with," you can interpret it any number of ways. He's
either saying, "Well, we're going to have to come up with our own ways to overcome them,"
or, "We're going to just have to wipe them out." What does it mean? The real
question is: How are we going to deal with Trent Lott? What are we going to do about him?
What is talk radio? Talk radio is the greatest democratic forum in the country today. It is truly diverse. There are more ideas, there's more back and forth, there's more so-called diversity. There are all kinds of great things to say about it. Talk radio is the American voter. I bet most of the people who listen to talk radio are voters. That's what bothers Trent Lott.
So you got a Republican talking about talk radio the way liberals talk about talk radio, which tells you (it tells me) what the real objective of most elected officials in Washington is anyway. It's to perpetuate themselves and their jobs and to spend money and maybe not -- well, yes. It would be in that order. The reason talk radio is "running the country" is because the people who are voters in this country are listening and involved and are passionate. Talk radio may be informing you, but it's not making you a robot, and you're taking action on your own, and these blowhards in Washington are hearing from you, the American people, and that's what bothers them -- and we are being blamed for you being informed, and that should tell you something.
Posted 1/21/07 (By Travis)
We've already covered the statements by John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and other Democrats, who dance around the idea of regulating or censoring blogs or infringing on freedom of speech. To further hammer the point home that is seems only to be our friends on the left who advocate media and internet censorship, the following stories have been compiled:
Transcript for the video "Kucinich Discusses Fairness Doctrine on Lou Dobbs"
1/20/07 Some brief remarks here noting that Kucinich appears in favor of bringing back the 'fairness doctrine', which would require all news and opinion shows to give equal time for all opinions. Like most of liberalism, while it sounds good, it is inherently tyrannical, and would serve to stifle conservative and libertarian minded media, as it did in the past. From another article:
Kucinich said in his speech that "We know the media has become the servant of a very narrow corporate agenda" and added "we are now in a position to move a progressive agenda to where it is visible."
When he says 'we' he means, the Democratic party and the liberal ideology. Regardless of who is in power, why would we want government to be a position to move any agenda anywhere in the media?
Even more worrying, Michael Copps, a Democratic FCC commissioner, added:
FCC Commissioner Michael Copps was also on hand at the conference and took broadcasters to task for their current content, speaking of "too little news, too much baloney passed off as news. Too little quality entertainment, too many people eating bugs on reality TV. Too little local and regional music, too much brain-numbing national play-lists."
You see, he, Michael Copps, and his agency know what is best for us, the American People.
"We're Going to Break Up Giant Media Enterprises"
The current Chairman of the Democratic party, Howard Dean:
He [tells Chris Matthews on MSNBC's Hardball, according to this transcript via Drudge, that Rupert Murdoch's Fox interests will have to be broken up. He's cagier, though, about whether GE, owner of the network on which he speaks, will specifically be targeted, saying, "Yes, we`re going to break up giant media enterprises. That doesn`t mean we`re going to break up all of GE. What we`re going to do is say that media enterprises can`t be as big as they are today. I don`t think we actually have to break them up, which Teddy Roosevelt had to do with the leftovers from the McKinley administration."
Editorial: Power-hungry Chávez devours nation's future
1/20/07 San Antonio Express News
Continuing his campaign against a free press, el presidente decided not to renew the license of Radio Caracas Television, the country's oldest commercial television station.
This is on top of onerous laws such as the one regulating a certain percentage of music on the radio be Venezuelan (just like the French and their television).
This is not to say there are no Conservatives or Republicans who do not trample on free speech; look no further than aspiring Presidential hopeful John McCain and his 'Campaign Finance Reform' law. Yet, the main point is nearly all threats to free speech and a market based media come from our friends on the left.
And we haven't even discussed PBS and NPR... :)
Posted 7/13/06 (By Travis)
Who Cares What Pointy-Headed UN Elitists Say?
7/7/06 RushLimbaugh.com Lol, this whole transcript is just too funny, check it out if you get a chance. Gotta love this pic:
However, Rush's hilarious monologue on all of this stems from this statement by Kofi Annan's chief of staff:
BROWN: The prevailing practice of seeking to use the United Nations almost by stealth as a diplomatic tool while failing to stand up for it against its domestic critics is simply not sustainable. <.> Much of the public discourse that reaches the US heartland has been largely abandoned to its loudest detractors such as Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. That is what I meant by stealth diplomacy. The UN's role is, in effect, a secret in middle America, even as it is highlighted in the Middle East and other parts of the world.
US Ambassador John Bolten responded:
BOLTON: And even worse was the condescending and patronizing tone about the American people, that fundamentally and very sadly, this was a criticism of the American people, not the American government, by an international civil servant.
Now, this is true, and it is indicative of the world view held by many at the United Nations, especially as US cable TV and US talk radio are among the freest medias in the entire world. They are privately owned, privately financed, and, sure, even they are regulated too much, but this is still nothing compared to other countries and even non-cable US television, which I am still convinced is regulated in some sort of way that facilitates much of the media bias contained therin :). Whether you agree or disagree with the tone of talk radio and cable TV, you must admit they have grown purely by the merits of their programming, by the desire of the American people to hear and watch them.
Looking at the rest of the world, there is really not much free media out there. The governments of the world, I mean the mafias of the world, own and control most of it. Russia is cracking down and controlling its radio and television stations; everywhere one turns the media is largely state owned, South American, China, Africa, the Middle East, even much of Europe. The mildest state owned stations around are probably the leftist BBC, which is owned by the British government and is therefore under political control, and leftist PBS, NPR, which are owned by the US government, and also under political control.
These stations, and all the government owned media outlets around the world, are, in effect, forcefed to their respective populaces; they will exist and stay in business whether the people watch it or like it. NPR looses hundreds of millions of dollars each year, as does PBS, as does the BBC; in fact, I'd bet nearly all state owned media looses money - after all, who wants to watch something put out by a state? Who wants to watch propoganda? Sure, I listen to NPR regularly, and occasionally it is ok, although I'm not sure why it is the only talk show allowed on the PM dial, and, yeah, I watched PBS pretty regularly at one point as it was the only clear TV channel I received back when I had a TV; but, in large part, I didn't watch and listen to state media because I wanted to, I did it because there was nothing else out there. I didn't and often still don't have a choice.
Then these folks at the UN talk about how unlike in the 'US heartland', at least in the Middle East the UN is getting a fair media shake?! Nearly all, if not all, of this media is controlled by the criminal Middle Eastern Governments! Arab media, even the so-called 'independent' Al-Jazeera station, are under the direct political control of some of the worst thugs and criminals known to man. If these media outlets are saying positive things about the UN, then we really need to pay attention to what Rush Limbaugh and Fox News are saying:
RUSH: The United Nations has not changed. It's still the bar scene in the first Star Wars movie. It's nothing but the vast majority of its members being tinhorn dictators and other, you know, little rug rats that are given legitimacy with their membership in the United Nations. It is an organization that seeks to fleece the American treasury. It's an organization that seeks to undermine US foreign policy, blames us for the problems of the world. <.>
And I, frankly, I don't know -- it would be difficult here, particularly in recent years, to chronicle where they've ever been helpful to us, in a real sense. My God, the UN couldn't do anything -- we are the UN when it comes to really solving problems. Otherwise they're just obstacles to everything, and it's no different than Madeleine Albright's view. They're upset that we're the lone superpower. They're upset at our prosperity. They don't think it's fair, it isn't right, and they're trying to whittle us down to size in the ways that they know best how to do.
Now, I know many of you might be thinking that there are also independent liberal newspapers and TV shows and talk shows in this country, and I'll have to agree, but the difference is that many of these are allied, ideologically and otherwise with the state owned and state controlled stations. People from the New York Times are all over PBS and NPR and vice versa. They cite each other constantly and report the news in similar fashion. Don't get me wrong, despite their affiliations, I would still trust these outlets over the state ones and there are many independent liberal media outlets that are supported by an audience. Of course, you have to wonder how much of their audience actually arrived at their thinking and thought processes independently vs how many were leached off the state media created audiences, and before you cry double standard, recall, the ideology of the state is the default one!
In retrospect, the reasons for these statements and feelings at the UN should be more than obvious - after all, these folks at the UN are sent by their governments and appointed by the collective agreement of nations all less free than our own. Thus, they are under just as much political control as the state owned medias! Why should we expect people appointed and controlled by a state(s) to respect a free press?
To end his transcript:
RUSH: You know, Mr. Snerdley still can't believe that I'm not offended by this. How many times have I told all of you? These are signs we are winning. Singled out like this, do they not have any idea what they're actually doing? What does all this really mean? It means that a free press and free talk radio are a pain in the ass to corrupt, undemocratic, dictator-loving bureaucracies like the United Nations. And they want the US government to go out and actually defend the United Nations against assaults on it being made in the free press in this country. Hey, UN, why don't you defend yourselves? If it's that easy to do, Mr. Malloch Brown, why don't you mount a famous PR campaign to defend the United Nations? The fact of the matter is this, frankly, kind of honors me, folks. My dad would not believe this.
Posted 7/14/06 (By Travis)
The Extinction of Mass Culture
The advent of 300 channels and the Internet has fragmented audiences - and the explosion of choice has left us poorer
7/28/06 Fortune Marc Gunther
I post this opinion piece because it goes along with the 7/13 post above on the UN and Rush Limbaugh. Basically, his point is that we have too many choices, as consumers of products, news, opinion, politics etc... He bemoans the decline of the MSM (MainStream Media) and how we are drifting apart as Americans because we don't share as many common cultural bonds.
I'd have to disagree with this author on, well, just about everything! We can have pride and common identity as Americans by virtue of our choices. The decline of the old media, the MSM, is occurring because they can't hold an audience in a free market. Blogs and new media are so popular because people recognize quality that is not present in the staid rote of the traditional press. People want to hear opinions. I don't want to hear what happened, I want to hear why you think it happened, what should be done, and who the players are and their history. Freedom is often a terrible thing to behold if the results are against your ideology and some seem to be quite scared. :)
I'd like to repost the words of Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry's:
"We learned," Kerry said to the gathering, "that the mainstream media, over the course of the last year, did a pretty good job of discerning. But there's a subculture and a sub-media that talks and keeps things going for entertainment purposes rather than for the flow of information. And that has a profound impact and undermines what we call the mainstream media of the country. And so the decision-making ability of the American electorate has been profoundly impacted as a consequence of that. The question is, what are we going to do about it?"
Now, let's go to the wife of 8 year Democratic President Bill Clinton and potential future Democratic Presidential Nominee:
Flashback: Hillary Clinton says Internet News Needs 'Rethink'
9/25/05 Drudge Report
China on Sunday imposed new media restrictions designed to limit the news and other information available to Internet users, sharply restricting the scope of content that can be posted on Web sites.
Hillary Rodham Clinton said IN 1998 during a meeting with reporters said that "we are all going to have to rethink how we deal with" the Internet because of the handling of White House sex scandal stories on Web sites.
Clinton was asked whether she favored curbs on the Internet, after the Drudgereport made headlines with coverage of her husband's affair with a White House intern. "We are all going to have to rethink how we deal with this, because there are all these competing values ... Without any kind of editing function or gatekeeping function, what does it mean to have the right to defend your reputation?" she said.
Hillary Clinton Continued:
"I don't have any clue about what we're going to do legally, regulatorily, technologically -- I don't have a clue. But I do think we always have to keep competing interests in balance. I'm a big pro-balance person. That's why I love the founders -- checks and balances; accountable power. Anytime an individual or an institution or an invention leaps so far out ahead of that balance and throws a system, whatever it might be -- political, economic, technological --out of balance, you've got a problem, because then it can lead to the oppression people's rights, it can lead to the manipulation of information, it can lead to all kinds of bad outcomes which we have seen historically. So we're going to have to deal with that. And I hope a lot of smart people are going to --"
REPORTER: Sounds like you favor regulation.
MRS. CLINTON: Bill, I don't know what -- that's why I said I don't know what I'm in favor of. And I don't know enough to know what to be in favor of, because I think it's one of those new issues we've got to address. We've got to see whether our existing laws protect people's right of privacy, protect them against defamation. And if they can, how do you do that when you can press a button and you can't take it back. So I think we have to tread carefully.
So, you can see the United Nations, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, whomever was the author of this opinion piece against choice and countless other folks on the left are always dancing around this idea of limiting freedom, limiting free speech, and protecting their old media monopoly. Whether they know it or not, they are afraid of the American people. With freedom, we just don't seem to be going in a direction they deem 'wise'. But it is too late. It is us, who are changing the culture, it is us who are choosing freedom, it is us, who are winning our country back.
It is they, who will be discarded into the ash heap of history.
Posted 7/21/06 (By Travis)
After 2 days, India calls blog block an "error"
7/20/06 International Herald Tribune Did you hear about this one? The Indian Mafia, I mean, the Indian Government, blocked access to thousands of blogs, after apparently meaning to only block 'two pages' of a 'hate blog'. I'm not quite sure I believe this explanation, after all, we are dealing with a poor country, and therefore their mafia of a government is more criminal than ours and not as transparent. :)
We also learn that Pakistan blocked blogspot.com in February, as a way to prevent Danish cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad from spreading.
An Indian blogger complained:
"You have a right to know what is being banned, and why it's being banned," she said. "I can understand if it's China or Iran or Saudi Arabia. I'm truly appalled when it's my country doing this."
I don't see what is so surprising. India's per capita income is only $640, and, since poverty is generally a direct reflection of the degree of which government suppresses and steals from its citizens, blatant government censorship and discrimination certainly doesn't seem too far fetched. To a lesser degree, similar actions and attempts have occurred in the United States.
Government censorship of websites of any kind is dangerous, counterproductive, and should be illegal.
(Added to 'Media Freedom')
Posted 6/3/07 (By Travis)
The Price of Free Airwaves
6/2/07 New York Times (by Michael Cops, Dem FCC commissioner)
Michael Cops delivers a stinging assault on free speech:
America lets radio and TV broadcasters use public airwaves worth more than half a trillion dollars for free. In return, we require that broadcasters serve the public interest: devoting at least some airtime for worthy programs that inform voters, support local arts and culture and educate our children — in other words, that aspire to something beyond just minimizing costs and maximizing revenue.
Luckily we're not quite as far along as Venezuela, or Pakistan... Yet.
See also, 'John Kerry on Blogs'
See also, 'Media Bias'
See also, 'The Internet'
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